HomeWritersLiterary AgentsEditorsPublishersResourcesDiscussion
Forum Login | Join the discussion
+ Reply to Thread
Results 1 to 8 of 8
  1. #1
    brandyn buchanan
    Guest

    "Confidence". First Chapter.

    Here's the first three pages of my WIP. I've been helping/making fun of others around here so much, didn't seem fair not to put myself out there. Any advice is (of course) appreciated.

    Last year, when I was homeless, I told myself that I would stop at a million. Exactly one year later, I've got it – a frosty million stashed across the state of Georgia, a steady job, and a decent chance at being a national celebrity in a couple months – so why am I still doing this? Spinning a rotten penny on a dying wood table in a bar halfway across the country, ten minutes away from wrecking a guy who knelt and cried and told me he loved me yesterday night?
    The Reverend entered, and I remembed. If I gotta make a case for what I do, Rodney Harmon's Exhibit A. You know the type – the guy who thinks baggy jeans and rap music will turn rebellious, bling rocking punks into God-fearing, bling rocking missionaries. Retch. Still, seeing him triggered something in me – my eyes widened, my heart twitched in its cavern, I heard the hum of the ceiling fans and the bartenders footsteps across the room. My crotch throbbed between my legs – a hot, soaking weight. The quarter second before you come, stretched out... prolonged... permanent. The money wasn't doing it to me, and it wasn't the beady eyed youth minister. He slid in the booth across from me and waved at the bartender.
    He didn't need to – except for a couple of losers clinging to the corners of the bar, Smith's Olde Pub was always empty, and it deserved to be - the decor was an atrocity. If you can imagine Abe Lincoln visiting Ikea for his furnishing, you’re on the right track.
    “Hey,” Harmon managed weakly. “Gimmie, uh -”
    I almost let him, but was struck by a better idea. “The Reverend will be enjoying some of your finest tap water.” The bartender nodded and walked off. I gave the preacher’s hand a reassuring tap. It shivered under my touch.
    “I know you’re nervous, but all the drinking you’ve been doing is bad for your disposition.”
    "You're probably right, Barbara." He held so much gratitude for the little speck of concern I showed, I almost felt bad about taking the money.
    "Got the money?" Almost. Aside from his mortgage, none of the money was Harmon's – most of it probably came from snotty old-timers who thought Chicago needed just one more church to keep it from descending into total hooliganism. He dropped the suitcase onto the table with a heavy thump. I groaned - no more James Bond movies for this man. I had dressed down to match Harmon's casual style, walking around with a pink tee shirt and jeans, and he offered me this behemoth of a Samsonite briefcase. Conspicuous much. Did he want me to get mugged?
    "You know I can't accept it like that, Pastor. I was very clear when I asked you to put the money in a pair of Sears bags."
    "I was in a rush -"
    "How much time does it take to stop at a mall? Have you even briefly considered my personal safety?" My question had sent Harmon reeling, and the first beads of sweat were starting to form on his head. I wasn't planning on chewing the guy out, but he deserved it for not following instructions.
    He swallowed hard and tried to regroup. "It's just that this investment will do wonders for the church. I can almost imagine Jesus smiling down on what you're about to do." A snicker escaped; I couldn't help it. Not only was this guy begging me to take his money, he'd given me God's seal of approval! Still, a Reverend invoking the name of Jesus is never a great time to giggle - I understand why it grabbed his curiosity.
    "What's so funny?"
    “You are aware what we're doing is illegal, right?” With that, Harmon was back on the defensive. Damn, I'm good.
    “You're right. My brain hasn't been working for the last couple of weeks.” Yeah, I'd say. Yesterday he stopped just short of proposing to me after a whirlwind monthlong nonromance, and today he's falling for the old “stolen Nazi money” work, a con so old it can legally vote in most states. “Listen, I'm sorry. Could you take it anyway?”
    I nodded gravely and snatched the suitcase. Two hundred thousand, just like we'd agreed. Poor Harmon. It was embarrassing, really.
    I stood to leave, but a voice from over my shoulder froze me in place.
    "Both of you freeze, right now! Muzyka and Zeschuk, Chicago Police Department." I turned towards the cops and back to Harmon.
    “Pastor!”
    The guy looked ready to @!#$ an anvil. “I didn't tell anybody!”
    I knew he was honest. That sudden cracking of the voice, the guilty convulsion of the body - not many people can fake that, least of all a white bread guy like Rod. Before I knew it, a pair of cuffs slammed across my wrists. Not that it mattered – I'd have it tough against a ten year old girl in a fight, let alone two police officers. They must have been tracking me for a long time, and I'd fallen right into their hands. I felt like Carth Onasi - stupid and completely useless.
    "Both of you are in some serious trouble," Muzyka said as he closed in on my target and my cash. Carth Onasi. Weren't Muzyka and Zeschuk the names of the Bioware CEO's? And since when did Italian guys have names like that?
    Damn it! If I wasn't handcuffed, I would have slapped myself on the head. I was being followed, all right, but not by the cops. I'd lose my take to a pair of experienced vets unless...
    "Rodney," I yelled at the preacher, "these guys aren't cops, they're thieves! Hey, somebody help!" The bartender's ears perked up, and some relief passed over me. It was gonna be hard for these guys to keep up appearances - two tough looking guys moving on a girl and a man of God looked damn fishy.
    Harmon stepped between me and the cops, putting up his dukes awkwadly, like somebody who'd never tried it before, visions of beating up the two toughies and winning the girl undoubtedly dashing into his brain. I gave the two officers the once over. Neither of them were as buff as that bartender, but Harmon was as skinny as a matchstick with the wood shaved off...



  2. #2
    Jon Campbell
    Guest

    Re: "Confidence". First Chapter.

    Last year, when I was homeless, I told myself that I would stop at a million. Exactly one year later, I've got it – a frosty million stashed across the state of Georgia, a steady job, and a decent chance at being a national celebrity in a couple months – so why am I still doing this? Spinning a rotten penny on a dying wood table in a bar halfway across the country, ten minutes away from wrecking a guy who knelt and cried [b] too many and … a guy who cried as he knelt and … or a guy knelling before me crying and …<b/> and told me he loved me yesterday night?

    The Reverend entered, and I remembed remember? . If I gotta make a case for what I do, Rodney Harmon's Exhibit A. You know the type – the guy who thinks baggy jeans and rap music will turn rebellious, bling [b] What’s a bling? <b/> rocking punks into God-fearing, bling rocking missionaries. Retch. Still, seeing him triggered something in me – my eyes widened, my heart twitched in its cavern, I heard the hum of the ceiling fans and the bartenders footsteps across the room. My crotch throbbed wouldn’t that be posey? between my legs – a hot, soaking weight.

    The quarter second before you cum? Did you intentionally try for this parable? , stretched out... prolonged... permanent. The money wasn't doing it to me, and it wasn't the beady[b] - <b/>eyed youth minister. He slid in the booth across from me and waved at the bartender.

    He didn't need to – except for a couple of losers clinging to the corners of the bar, Smith's Olde Pub was always empty, and it deserved to be - the decor was an atrocity. If you can imagine Abe Lincoln visiting Ikea for his furnishing, you’re on the right track.

    “Hey,” Harmon managed weakly. “Gimmie, uh -”

    I almost let him, but was struck by a better idea. “The Reverend will be enjoying some of your finest tap water.” The bartender nodded and walked off. I gave the preacher’s hand a reassuring tap. It shivered under my touch.

    “I know you’re nervous, but all the drinking you’ve been doing is bad for your disposition.”
    "You're probably right, Barbara." He held so much gratitude for the little speck of concern I showed, I almost felt bad about taking the money.

    "Got the money?" Almost. Aside from his mortgage, none of the money was Harmon's – most of it probably came from snotty old-timers who thought Chicago needed just one more church to keep it from descending into total hooliganism. He dropped the suitcase onto the table with a heavy thump. I groaned - no more James Bond movies for this man. I had dressed down to match Harmon's casual style, walking around with a pink tee shirt and jeans, and he offered me this behemoth of a Samsonite briefcase. Conspicuous much [b] Word choice? Conspicuous should be obvious if you describe his attire as out of place. <b/>

    Did he want me to get mugged?

    "You know I can't accept it like that, Pastor. I was very clear when I asked you to put the money in a pair of Sears bags."

    "I was in a rush -"

    "How much time does it take to stop at a mall? Have you even briefly considered my personal safety?" My question had sent Harmon reeling, and the first beads of sweat were starting to form on his head. I wasn't planning on chewing [b] I wasn’t planning to chew the guy out, … Sounds a little better? <b/> the guy out, but he deserved it for not following instructions.

    He swallowed hard and tried to regroup. "It's just that this investment will do wonders for the church. I can almost imagine Jesus smiling down on what you're about to do." A snicker escaped; I couldn't help it. Not only was this guy begging me to take his money, he'd given me God's seal of approval! Still, a Reverend invoking the name of Jesus is never a great time to giggle - I understand why it grabbed his curiosity.

    "What's so funny?"

    “You are aware what we're doing is illegal, right?” With that, Harmon was back on the defensive. Damn, I'm good.

    “You're right. My brain hasn't been working for the last couple of weeks.” Yeah, I'd say. Yesterday he stopped just short of proposing to me after a whirlwind monthlong [b] month long <b/> nonromance, and today he's falling for the old “stolen Nazi money” work, a con so old it can legally vote in most states. “Listen, I'm sorry. Could you take it anyway?”

    I nodded gravely and snatched the suitcase. Two hundred thousand, just like we'd agreed. Poor Harmon. It was embarrassing, really.

    I stood to leave, but a voice from over my shoulder froze me in place.

    "Both of you freeze, right now! Muzyka and Zeschuk, [b] I’m not sure if police actually give their names in these situations, but I could be wrong. If you’re in Chicago then I think it’s possible to just say something like “Freeze” or “Police, don’t move! <b/> Chicago Police Department." I turned [b] I turn …. Are we tensing a little bit here? <b/> towards the cops and back to Harmon.

    “Pastor!” [b] Is this supposed to be a question? <b/>

    The guy looked ready to @!#$ an anvil. “I didn't tell anybody!”

    I knew he was honest. That sudden cracking of the voice, the guilty convulsion of the body - not many people can fake that, least of all a white bread guy like Rod. Before I knew it, a pair of cuffs [b] tightened <b/> slammed across my wrists. Not that it mattered – I'd have it tough against a ten year old girl in a fight, let alone two police officers. They must have been tracking me for a long time, and I'd fallen right into their hands. I felt like Carth Onasi - stupid and completely [b] I think useless isn’t the right word here. Stupid or dumb seems like a better choice of words for how she must feel. <b/> useless.

    "Both of you are in some serious trouble," Muzyka said as he closed in on my target and my cash. Carth Onasi. [b] I think the tag line should be “Muzyka said. He closed in on my target, Carth Onasi and the cash. <b/>

    Weren't Muzyka and Zeschuk the names of the Bioware CEO's? And since when did Italian guys have names like that?

    Damn it! If I wasn't handcuffed, I would have slapped myself on the head. I was being followed, all right, but not by the cops. I'd lose my take to a pair of experienced vets unless...

    "Rodney," I yelled at the preacher, "these guys aren't cops, they're thieves! Hey, somebody help!" The bartender's ears perked up, and some relief passed over me. It was gonna be hard for these guys to keep up appearances - two tough looking guys moving on a girl and a man of God looked damn fishy.

    Harmon stepped between me and the cops, putting up his dukes awkwadly [b] add a comma and change to awkwardly <b/> , like somebody who'd never tried it before, visions of beating up the two toughies and winning the girl undoubtedly dashing into his brain. I gave the two officers the once over. Neither of them were as buff as that bartender, but Harmon was as skinny as a matchstick with the wood shaved off...

    ---

    Interesting reading. I liked it. Some of the sentences where cliché and right out of a detective novel. Other times I got lost with the protagonists gender. Something about using crotch and weight made me wonder if he’s a she or she’s a he?

    I noted the grammar problems for you, but didn’t get them all. There were a few times where I thought you should have broken up the sentence for more clarity. I got lost in the use of “and” to bridge the sentence structure.

    Other that my noted comments, I enjoyed it. Thanks for sharing.

    Jon

  3. #3
    Jon Campbell
    Guest

    Re: "Confidence". First Chapter.

    Last year, when I was homeless, I told myself that I would stop at a million. Exactly one year later, I've got it – a frosty million stashed across the state of Georgia, a steady job, and a decent chance at being a national celebrity in a couple months – so why am I still doing this? Spinning a rotten penny on a dying wood table in a bar halfway across the country, ten minutes away from wrecking a guy who knelt and cried too many and … a guy who cried as he knelt and … or a guy knelling before me crying and … and told me he loved me yesterday night?

    The Reverend entered, and I remembed remember? . If I gotta make a case for what I do, Rodney Harmon's Exhibit A. You know the type – the guy who thinks baggy jeans and rap music will turn rebellious, bling What’s a bling? rocking punks into God-fearing, bling rocking missionaries. Retch. Still, seeing him triggered something in me – my eyes widened, my heart twitched in its cavern, I heard the hum of the ceiling fans and the bartenders footsteps across the room. My crotch throbbed wouldn’t that be posey? between my legs – a hot, soaking weight.

    The quarter second before you cum? Did you intentionally try for this parable? , stretched out... prolonged... permanent. The money wasn't doing it to me, and it wasn't the beady - eyed youth minister. He slid in the booth across from me and waved at the bartender.

    He didn't need to – except for a couple of losers clinging to the corners of the bar, Smith's Olde Pub was always empty, and it deserved to be - the decor was an atrocity. If you can imagine Abe Lincoln visiting Ikea for his furnishing, you’re on the right track.

    “Hey,” Harmon managed weakly. “Gimmie, uh -”

    I almost let him, but was struck by a better idea. “The Reverend will be enjoying some of your finest tap water.” The bartender nodded and walked off. I gave the preacher’s hand a reassuring tap. It shivered under my touch.

    “I know you’re nervous, but all the drinking you’ve been doing is bad for your disposition.”
    "You're probably right, Barbara." He held so much gratitude for the little speck of concern I showed, I almost felt bad about taking the money.

    "Got the money?" Almost. Aside from his mortgage, none of the money was Harmon's – most of it probably came from snotty old-timers who thought Chicago needed just one more church to keep it from descending into total hooliganism. He dropped the suitcase onto the table with a heavy thump. I groaned - no more James Bond movies for this man. I had dressed down to match Harmon's casual style, walking around with a pink tee shirt and jeans, and he offered me this behemoth of a Samsonite briefcase. Conspicuous much. Word choice? Conspicuous should be obvious if you describe his attire as out of place.

    Did he want me to get mugged?

    "You know I can't accept it like that, Pastor. I was very clear when I asked you to put the money in a pair of Sears bags."

    "I was in a rush -"

    "How much time does it take to stop at a mall? Have you even briefly considered my personal safety?" My question had sent Harmon reeling, and the first beads of sweat were starting to form on his head. I wasn't planning on chewing I wasn’t planning to chew the guy out,… Sounds a little better? the guy out, but he deserved it for not following instructions.

    He swallowed hard and tried to regroup. "It's just that this investment will do wonders for the church. I can almost imagine Jesus smiling down on what you're about to do." A snicker escaped; I couldn't help it. Not only was this guy begging me to take his money, he'd given me God's seal of approval! Still, a Reverend invoking the name of Jesus is never a great time to giggle - I understand why it grabbed his curiosity.

    "What's so funny?"

    “You are aware what we're doing is illegal, right?” With that, Harmon was back on the defensive. Damn, I'm good.

    “You're right. My brain hasn't been working for the last couple of weeks.” Yeah, I'd say. Yesterday he stopped just short of proposing to me after a whirlwind monthlong month long nonromance, and today he's falling for the old “stolen Nazi money” work, a con so old it can legally vote in most states. “Listen, I'm sorry. Could you take it anyway?”

    I nodded gravely and snatched the suitcase. Two hundred thousand, just like we'd agreed. Poor Harmon. It was embarrassing, really.

    I stood to leave, but a voice from over my shoulder froze me in place.

    "Both of you freeze, right now! Muzyka and Zeschuk, I’m not sure if police actually give their names in these situations, but I could be wrong. If you’re in Chicago then I think it’s possible to just say something like “Freeze” or “Police, don’t move! Chicago Police Department." I turned I turn …. Are we tensing a little bit here? towards the cops and back to Harmon.

    “Pastor!” Is this supposed to be a question?

    The guy looked ready to @!#$ an anvil. “I didn't tell anybody!”

    I knew he was honest. That sudden cracking of the voice, the guilty convulsion of the body - not many people can fake that, least of all a white bread guy like Rod. Before I knew it, a pair of cuffs tightened slammed across my wrists. Not that it mattered – I'd have it tough against a ten year old girl in a fight, let alone two police officers. They must have been tracking me for a long time, and I'd fallen right into their hands. I felt like Carth Onasi - stupid and completely I think useless isn’t the right word here. Stupid or dumb seems like a better choice of words for how she must feel. useless.


    "Both of you are in some serious trouble," Muzyka said as he closed in on my target and my cash. Carth Onasi. I think the tag line should be “Muzyka said. He closed in on my target, Carth Onasi and the cash.

    Weren't Muzyka and Zeschuk the names of the Bioware CEO's? And since when did Italian guys have names like that?


    Damn it! If I wasn't handcuffed, I would have slapped myself on the head. I was being followed, all right, but not by the cops. I'd lose my take to a pair of experienced vets unless...
    "Rodney," I yelled at the preacher, "these guys aren't cops, they're thieves! Hey, somebody help!" The bartender's ears perked up, and some relief passed over me. It was gonna be hard for these guys to keep up appearances - two tough looking guys moving on a girl and a man of God looked damn fishy.
    Harmon stepped between me and the cops, putting up his dukes awkwadly add a comma and change to awkwardly , like somebody who'd never tried it before, visions of beating up the two toughies and winning the girl undoubtedly dashing into his brain. I gave the two officers the once over. Neither of them were as buff as that bartender, but Harmon was as skinny as a matchstick with the wood shaved off...

    ---

    Interesting reading. I liked it. Some of the sentences where cliché and right out of a detective novel. Other times I got lost with the protagonists gender. Something about using crotch and weight made me wonder if he’s a she or she’s a he?

    I noted the grammar problems for you, but didn’t get them all. There were a few times where I thought you should have broken up the sentence for more clarity. I got lost in the use of “and” to bridge the sentence structure.

    Other that my noted comments, I enjoyed it. Thanks for sharing.

    Jon

  4. #4
    A J
    Guest

    Re: "Confidence". First Chapter.

    Haha omg. I was editing it when i realized Jon had already edited it. But i liked it! It's a very good hook, you end in a very good place. I agree with Jon, i got confused with the gender but i think its a female? Just remember: keep on editing and rewriting util you feel it's polished!

    AJ

  5. #5
    Kris Williams
    Guest

    Re: "Confidence". First Chapter.

    Did you guys see it when the Rev called her "Barbara"? lol

    The first little bit was kinda confusing (the "bling" stuff - maybe I'm out of it, but it made no sense to me), but the rest was great!

    I really like the style and tone - she's a real smartass. It surprised me that she'd have it tough against a ten year old girl in a fight - she came across as pretty tough. Makes me wonder if she has some sort of problem we don't know about ...

    Intriguing! Keep with it!

    Kris

  6. #6
    brandyn buchanan
    Guest

    Re: "Confidence". First Chapter.

    Here's the second part:

    "Listen you, um...bastards. If you wanna get to this case, you'll have to -” Muzyka didn't wait for the Rev to wrap up his cliché – he fed him a serving of fist, and Harmon tumbled to the ground in an awkward, pretzel-esque heap.
    Muzyka snatched the suitcase and headed for the door, but the bartender was already cutting off the exit. Handcuffed or not, I had to crack a smile - this was ****ing delicious! Two people risking their safety, fighting to get my money, and I wouldn't have to lift a finger – it was like ordering takeout. Muzyka clutched the suitcase and rushed the bartender. Zeschuk would have followed, but the minister jumped on top of him with this scream straight out of The Waterboy and slapped on a headlock. A for effort, sure, but the attack wasn't working out well – Harmon was already groaning from the elbows thrown into his side - and if the Good Reverend got knocked down, the bartender's odds against two guys were slim.
    The plan wasn't working – All I wanted was to grab the dough and beat it. I glanced towards Muzyka and the Bartender. They were beating each other like a couple of lifers fighting over the new guy's rectum. The suitcase slept on the floor, unaware of all the turmoil it was causing.
    So much for not getting my hands dirty. Still cuffed, I took a deep breath, and made a run for the cash. Did I mention that I have the physical coordination of a retarded kitten? As I ran, the Reverend (still swinging on Zeschuck's back) kicked me in the head by accident. The back of my eyes felt like they would explode. I closed them, and felt the weird intertia of a spinning room. Even with my eyes closed, I could feel the case stretch to the back of the room. I focused on it as I blacked out.

    Harmon, the bartender, and a couple of cowards who had ran away at the first sign of trouble were standing over me when I came to. I sat up and surveyed the damage. The place smelled like a million different flavors of alcohol, and as I noticed the shards of wood and glass on the floor, I realized that I had missed a huge bar brawl. I gave my mark a look. He looked worried, and I needed to be sure why.
    "Are you all right, Pastor Harmon?" Even though I felt weak, I still had the prescence of mind not to ask about the money in front of everyone.
    “Yeah.” He mumbled something under his breath about some police sirens spooking the guys away.
    "Aight, you niggas need to give this girl some space," the bartender said as he waved the other patrons off. Once he finished clearing the area, he returned. "You need a doctor or something? You was shakin' and @!#$..."
    "I've got epilepsy." One of the few honest things I'd said all day.
    "You sure you don't want me to call somebody?"
    "Sure, but thanks a lot. You know, for everything." What a great guy - he realized I was wrapping up the conversation, and didn't ask anymore questions.
    "No problem." He shook my hand and left. My eyes lit up with delight as Harmon pulled out my briefcase.
    "Barbara, I'm really sorry. I had no idea that this was so dangerous - if something had happened to you, I'd never forgive myself. Do you want to wait a week? We can try doing this sometime after you recover." We stood together.
    "I'll take it," I said with grave sincerity, as if I were accepting The One Ring instead of free money. "But there's something you need to be aware of. With all this heat, I'll have to invest the money slowly - it's gonna take longer than last time." Two weeks earlier, I had flipped ten grand to fifty - using my money, of course.
    "How much longer?"
    "Months. A whole year, maybe. Do you still want to do it?" I read in a John Grisham novel that lawyers won't ask questions without knowing the answers in advance. I don't know if Johnny G was telling the truth, but I strictly follow that doctrine when I work.
    "A whole year? You'll be back before then, right?" Over the last month, I had met this man and spun an intricate, convincing tale - Harmon belived in magic now, and he'd cartwheel naked through the flames of hell before he turned his back on it.
    "Sure," I told him. Hopefully it sounded more genuine than I felt – two years without a seizure ruined by this prick.
    He handed me the case and stared at me for a few seconds. I made him call a taxi - I can't drive for obvious reasons - and fifteen minutes later, I was on my way to the airport.

    She closed the diary, tried to ignore the two hundred thousand dollars in the overhead and focus on the chicken, but it wasn't long until she was accosted by a flight attendant. After staring for a few awkward moments, the stanger worked up the courage to speak.
    "Rose Waverly, right?"
    "Yeah, that's me.” Rose's eyes narrowed – she only used her real name at home. “You must be from Valdosta!" It was a dot on the Georgia/Florida border, a complete nowheresville.
    "Born and bred! Name's Janice Marshall." The flight attendant leaned in - they had gone from complete strangers to best friends in record time. "So, are you a real psychic? I'm having this awful problem with my ex-boyfriend..." Rose smiled; she suddenly couldn't wait to arrive.
    "I'd be glad to help you, Janice."

  7. #7
    brandyn buchanan
    Guest

    Re: "Confidence". First Chapter.

    ps. Bling? You guys have never heard of Bling? Rocks? Ice? You guys are so uncool.

    Thanks for the insight. I've gone over it a handful of times, nice to see a couple things I missed. I'll probably be editing the Johnny G comment out - one of those deals where your character changes over the course of a book. It's really cute, but it must die.

  8. #8
    Jon Campbell
    Guest

    Re: "Confidence". First Chapter.

    "ps. Bling? You guys have never heard of Bling? Rocks? Ice? You guys are so uncool."

    boinker...hahaha!

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts